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ISSUE

VINCENT CHAVEZ

editorinchief@lbunion.com

COLLEEN BROWN

colleen.union@gmail.com

Editor-in-Chief

—Mae West

Managing Editor

GABE FERREIRA

gabe.union@gmail.com

Managing Editor

MARCO BELTRAN MELISSA CASAS

opinions@lbunion.com

Opinions Editor

BRIANNE SCHAER

news@lbunion.com

JOHN VILLANUEVA

music@lbunion.com

News Director Music Editor

NATHAN CRUZ

entertainment@lbunion.com

TORIE RIVERA

literature@lbunion.com

Literature Editor

COLLEEN BROWN Culture Editor

ROSE FEDUK Comics Editor

DUCHESS OF SPAIN Grunion Editor

GABE FERREIRA Art Director/Cover

culture@lbunion.com comic@lbunion.com grunion@lbunion.com art@lbunion.com

NICHOLE DANIELS

nichole.union@gmail.com

CONNOR O’BRIEN

connor.union@gmail.com

Illustration Editor

Photo Editor/Cover Photo

LEO PORTUGAL Web Manager

NATHAN CRUZ

Advertising Executive

VIN’S TWO ’CENTS

marcob.union@gmail.com

Senior Editor

Entertainment Editor

“I THINK CENSORSHIP IS NECESSARY; THE THINGS THEY’RE DOING IN FILMS RIGHT NOW JUST SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED. THERE’S NO DIGNITY ANYMORE AND I THINK THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT.”

web@lbunion.com advertising@lbunion.com

Contributors: JON BOLIN, TANYA PAZ, JOSEPH PHILLIPS, MARIHA LOWE, CHRISTINA CHEN, KEVIN NG, AMY PATTON, MICHAEL WOOD, MICHAEL CLELAND, WES VERNER, DANIEL SERRANO, LILI DOVE, SIERRA PATHEAL, FAITH LEE, GENEVA TRELEASE, WES YOUNG, ERIC BRYAN, RAMIRO PEREZ, DAVID CASARRUBIAS, TYLER DEAN, CAMILLE HOVE, JOVANNA MADRIGAL, STEPHANIE TSUI, GILLIAN WOODSON

LETTERS TO AND FROM THE EDITOR

VINCENT CHAVEZ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

H

ey, chickenheads. I want to tell you a story about art, censorship, and queerness. The year is 2008 and I am a freshman at CSULB. I am 20 pounds heavier, 30 with my backpack on. I’m at our current comics editor’s house working on an extra credit assignment for my ART 116 class. The assignment is to create a shirt inspired by the Lascaux Cave Paintings. I choose a piece referred to as the “unicorn” for its obvious irony. You see, the “unicorn” is not a unicorn at all. The painting clearly shows an animal with two horns protruding from its head. I, seeing an opportunity for silliness, draw the so-called unicorn on the shirt’s front and write the word “BICURIOUS” in thick purple letters on the back. (See, the joke is this unicorn has two horns and bi-curious individuals have the capacity to be attracted to two genders.

Illustration

ROSE FEDUK COMICS EDITOR

On second thought, I don’t think this qualifies as a joke). Except I don’t write bi-curious. Instead, I sit there on Rose’s living room floor, unable to write the word. At that moment, I was an extremely closeted homosexual. I struggle to write bi-curious because I am afraid people will think I am coming out to them via shirt. Who cares that I am not bi-curious? In fact, I am so far past bi-curious on the gay spectrum, I’m rollerblading in short-shorts on rainbows made of showtunes, lisps, and the finest wigs money can buy. Eventually, I chicken(head) out and write the word “confused” because the unicorn having two horns is kind of confusing (I don’t really remember my reasoning). I show up to class the next day in my censored shirt, ready to present it to the class. I watch as people look at the

front approvingly. I then turn around and crane my neck to see their reaction. To quote the back of my shirt, they all look pretty “confused.” I sit down feeling like the world’s biggest dope and wishing I’d had the backbone to be myself: a queer person and maker of bad puns. The subject of our feature (page 7), performance artist, proud lesbian, and allaround sweetheart, Holly Hughes, has also struggled with the ideas of art, censorship, and queerness, just on a much more meaningful scale. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about her Supreme Court case against the National Endowment for the Arts. The product of our conversation was pretty eye-opening, so give it a wide-eyed looksy. Bi the way, if you were curious, I totally came out the summer after freshman year and everybody was really supportive and not surprised at all.

UNCENSORED DOODLES

ROSE FEDUK COMICS EDITOR

WE LET ROSE’S IMAGINATION RUN WILD

Disclaimer and Publication Information

The Union Weekly is published using ad money and partial funding provided by the Associated Students, Inc. All Editorials are the opinions of the Union Weekly, not ASI, or CSULB. All students are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the Union Weekly staff. All letters to the editor will be considered for publication. However, CSULB students will have precedence. Please include name, major, class standing, and phone number for all submissions. They are subject to editing and will not be returned. Letters may or may not be edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and length. The Union Weekly will publish anonymous letters, articles, editorials and illustrations, but must have your name and information attached for our records. Letters to the editor should be no longer than 500 words. The Union Weekly assumes no responsibility, nor is it liable, for claims of its advertisers. Grievance procedures are available in the Associated Students business office.

Questions? Comments? Kumquats?! Mail: 1212 Bellflower Blvd., Suite 116, Long Beach,CA 90815 Phone: 562.985.4867 E-mail: info@lbunion.com Web: www.lbunion.com UNION WEEKLY

24 SEPTEMBER 2012

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OPINIONS

THE SECRET THAT AIN’T SO SECRET FORGET SELF-HELP BOOKS AND SHUT UP LILI DOVE

Illustration

CONTRIBUTOR

C

lose your eyes. What do you see? Actually, it’s sort of a trick question. Do we see when our eyes are closed, or is it our imagination that dictates what is within our vision? I suggest that this is just as true when our eyes are wide open, but instead of asking you what you see, I ask of what you hear. We can’t physically close our ears, but we can tune out the message or put our own spin on it. How much we are inclined to listen has a lot to do with what we see while the information is being presented. If we are distracted by other visuals, our minds have a better chance of wandering. If we simply don’t like the way a messenger looks, we are inclined to change our interpretation of the message based on our own previous life experiences. Unfortunately, innocent people get shot because of erroneous assumptions all too often, as the Trayvon Martin murder illustrates. Next time you find yourself strongly agreeing or disagreeing, whether it is a popular or personal sentiment, take a second to ask yourself if you are actually listening with an open mind or passing the message through a personal filter. It is surprising to find out how much better hearing becomes when personal bias and outside distortion are taken out of the conversation. It’s a life long journey to capture the knowledge contained in the power of positive thinking, which is often called “The Secret” in honor of a recent book by that name. In reality the secret has been around for a very long time and has also been written previously in similar fashion but with different titles. I am not sure if anyone can own common sense wisdom, even if they can certainly own the royalties on a popular explanation of an old theory. Nonetheless, I don’t think I should have to

STEPHANIE TSUI CONTRIBUTOR

use quotation marks every time I discuss the power of positive thinking and call it “The Secret.” People have been saying, “Hey, do you want to know the secret?” for a long time. No one owns our thoughts, even if media and politicians try to buy them quite often. You can use the secret to improve your grades, lose weight, travel to exotic lands, heal illness; almost anything, actually. But, just knowing the secret doesn’t make it work; we have to align lifestyle choices to the vision. And even then, sometimes what we want is not really what we want, so the closer we get to our goal the more obstacles we create for ourselves. Sometimes all that positive thinking and hard work and effort just creates friction. Eventually the truth usually finds its way into our hearts and heads. It is generally a good indication that we are walking down the wrong path if every step fills us with trepidation. The best way to get to where we want to go is to find the sound of silence inside of ourselves. It’s not easy, because if we notice that we found it, the silence is broken by our thoughts. Silence is not really something you can observe, it just is the outcome of a meditative practice that helps us get somewhere beyond your thoughts to where we can discover our as of yet unknown dreams. This is what it means to get to know yourself, to go beyond where you have already gone, and to do it on your own terms but by being willing to listen and observe with an open mind at the same time. If it were easy to do two contradictory things at once, the world would be a much more peaceful place. Inner peace in a war zone is not much more satisfying that inner turbulence in paradise. As always, balance is everything.

COURTING CONCUSSIONS

SIERRA PATHEAL CONTRIBUTOR

INJURIES ARE THE SPICE OF LIFE “Sierra. Sierra, do you know who I am?” Her voice is just this side of panicked, thready and high with stress. She searches my face for some sign of recognition, but aside from a dreamy, distant smile, there isn’t much. “Yes,” I finally answer, sounding vaguely surprised. “Yes, I know who you are.” “What’s my name?” she prompts. There is a long pause; then, “Yes, I know who you are!” Going from my tone, you’d think it’s an accomplishment. I don’t remember this conversation. Although it sounds like I’m recounting a conversation with a sleepwalker, this is the frustrating exchange my friend had with me after I fell and hit my chin on an ice rink, losing consciousness and developing a mild concussion. She’s German, and I’d been visiting her in her hometown during winter break; going ice skating had seemed

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like a wonderful idea until I stopped talking and she turned to find me lying on the ice, unresponsive. At first, she thought I’d just fallen and was gathering myself before getting up and trying it again, but as I remained motionless, eyes open but lifeless, she realized something was seriously wrong. For my part, I remember “waking up,” fully convinced I was dreaming – and not particularly fond of the dream, either. My head ached, but the main source of pain came from my chin, where someone was scratching around for no good reason I could identify. I remember batting my hands at him and telling him repeatedly to “Go away!” because “I don’t want that…” Later, I found out I’d refused the neck brace while chasing away my dream-antagonist, who happened to be the EMT. It was only once I was in the ambulance, searching my hazy, incomplete memories to try to figure

out why the dream wasn’t ending, that I realized I must have fallen (though I still don’t remember doing so), finally forcing myself to accept reality and speak German again. The EMT, although completely fluent in English, was quite amused by the change. “Your German is pretty good when you’re awake,” he told me, “but when you’re scared, it’s just English, huh?” Honestly, I think it had more to do with disorientation than anything else. I hadn’t been particularly afraid; I’d simply forgotten I was in Germany. The fear came later, once I was able to properly apprehend just how serious what had happened could have been. Thankfully, the concussion was pretty mild, four minutes of unconsciousness and ten of severe confusion aside. There were no lasting physical effects. Emotionally, I was terrified of ice skating for a while, but when

I think back on escapades in Germany, this one is unforgettable. Beyond an increased perception of my own mortality, I tested out my German health insurance (and was very satisfied – despite being on the lowest rung of government-sponsored health care, I paid a total of thirty euros (about $40) for an ambulance ride and a night at the hospital) and became much closer to the girl I’d been visiting. As she said, she’d thought I was dying. Things like that tend to make impressions. So what am I saying? I’m not telling you to go out and have a concussion, not by any means. But if I’ve learned anything from the experience, it’s that trying to avoid calamity is a lost cause, but that’s almost a good thing. After all, even concussions can be fun, provided you look at them in the right light. If nothing else, mishaps make good stories.


OPINIONS

BREAD VERSUS BED

THE SCHOOLYEAR SMACKDOWN BETWEEN WORK AND SLEEP JOVANNA MADRIGAL CONTRIBUTOR

I’m having a love affair with bread and I’m cheating on my bed. The worst is yet to come and later in the semester, this affair will ensue with more sleepless nights, my bed rejecting me in totality. Getting hired at Panera Bread and working these past few days has been a new experience for me. Finally working part time and going to school full time, I see the toll it will take over the course of the school year, and, well, my life in general. I had no idea I was signing my soul over, all in good intentions of course. Being new to the job, I had no idea how the dynamics behind the counter worked. I was always oblivious to the fact that behind the counter is a whole different world. Things seem to run so smoothly in the customer’s eyes; little do they know that behind the counter, the employees are scrambling all

over the facility and yelling incoherent phrases to one another to try to serve the customer as best as possible. Never did I think I’d find myself working in customer service but here I am, taking people’s orders, people who never know what they want for lunch, let alone in life. Anything can go wrong behind the cash register. You can give the customer the wrong change, the customer’s credit card may be declined, or you can simply have an emotional breakdown from the line that only seems to be getting bigger as you look for the cheddar broccoli soup on the menu. From taking the customer’s order, to running to grab them a pastry item, to forgetting to give them their cup for their drink, only to have them come back and ask for it, I’m surprised I manage to keep myself stress free with a

UP IN SMOKE

little help from my coworkers. I have only been working at Panera Bread for a few days and have fallen in love with the staff. They are a diverse bunch with a personality all their own and they surpass any expectations that I had about the people I would work with. Did I mention that many of them love me in return? At least I’d like to think so. This past Wednesday was my first time closing my part of the restaurant on my own. Let me tell you, I have never been so exhausted and eager to go home in my life. Closing at 9:00 P.M. to have to leave at twenty ‘til 11:00 P.M. is beyond me. It was just my luck to close with the manager who, according to some of my coworkers, is known for keeping you until every single little thing is where it is supposed to be and every nook and cranny is cleaned

and accounted for. I thought I was “done” at various times of the night, only to have him come out of the manager’s office and find something that needed to be arranged and/or cleaned a certain way or another. I would consider myself unlucky after that experience, but I can honestly say that so far, I love my job. I am proud to make this statement because not many people can: welcome to corporate America. While I have found myself taking frequent naps and having less of a social life than I did before, I find myself enjoying every sleepless night and every hour I spend surrounded by quality people. I may be having an affair with Panera Bread and cheating on my bed, but unlike all affairs, this one only makes my everyday more interesting.

CAMPUS HEALTH OVER DIRTY HABIT

DAVID CASARRUBIAS CONTRIBUTOR

There are a lot of things that grind my gears but smoking is just one of the many. I’m not bagging on smokers altogether, as I have many close friends who enjoy a cigarette every now and then; my issue is walking to class, or just around campus in general, and getting a big whiff of smoke exhaled into my face. Not only do I not enjoy smelling like an old chimney pipe, but also I just find it ridiculous that our university still allows and accommodates smoking. With the amount of resources, energy, time, and effort that the state spends on countless tobacco-free ads, one would guess that a creature of the state, like CSULB, would decide to ban smoking on campus altogether. I have contemplated what reasons our school administrators and ASI government officials would have to continue to allow smoking. One possible reason is that smoking serves as a way for students to relieve stress. This seems like a feasible proposition since smoking has been shown to be an outlet for people dealing with stress. However, there are many outlets and specific resources on campus to help students to deal with stress. Even more specifically, there are entire workshops created for students who need an outlet to deal with stress. Another possible reason for our current smoking policy could be that the school wants to accommodate the diverse lifestyles of the over 35,000 students who are currently enrolled, some of whom smoke. This proposition, although extremely optimistic, is hard to swallow. In reality, a state institution’s interests regarding its students should be their health, and not that of accommodating an unhealthy habit. It is hard to believe that our school’s

“no skateboarding policy,” for example, explicitly prohibits any skateboarding and describes all forms of skateboards down to the last axle. When I looked up the smoking policy, it was succinctly written in five bullet points. In sum, it stated that smoking was not permitted inside or within twenty feet of any building. The irony is that this policy is seldom enforced and the university even accommodates smokers by placing ashtrays directly outside the doors of many buildings. I asked some university officials why it was that ash trays on campus were placed right by building entrances; those officials responded by saying that the ashtrays are placed by building entrances so that people who smoke may dispose their cigarettes as they enter the building. As an adverse result, these “strategically placed” ashtrays have become watering holes for smokers to circle around and enjoy. Our university is more concerned with completely banning skateboarding, which can result in the unforgivable result of scraped knees and scuffed hands. However, they have yet to consider the banning of smoking on campus altogether which can result in lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and death. I believe it is the duty of our school to look out for the best interests of each and every one of us, smokers or secondhand victims, and ban smoking altogether. It is true that smokers never get old, and the reason for that is that they die young. Personally, I would rather see fifty skateboarders ollie their way across Brotman Hall than attend one hundred funerals resulting from cigarette use, but that’s just me because smoking on campus grinds my gears. UNION WEEKLY

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NEWS

SHOOTIN’ THE SHIT

WITH THE EXECS JONATHON BOLIN ASI VICE PRESIDENT

WHY YOUR VOTE MATTERS

“GET OUT THE VOTE” RALLIES STUDENTS TO TAKE ACTION IN THE ELECTION BEN NOVOTNY

Words & Photo

UNION STAFFER

S

tudents and faculty gathered at the Speaker’s Platform in front of the Bookstore last Monday for “Get Out the Vote,” a rally designed to encourage voting in anticipation of Proposition 30. Associated Students Inc. put together the event, which featured several high-profile speakers who encouraged students to register and vote in the upcoming election. Sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown, Proposition 30 is a statewide ballot initiative that essentially raises taxes in order to fund statewide K-12 and higher education. It would raise taxes for people living in California making more than $250,000 a year over a period of seven years and raise the statewide sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent over a period of four years. If passed, the measure could generate

an additional $6.8 to $9 billion in state revenue over seven years and would prevent the CSU System from facing a $250 million cut in state funding on top of the $650 million reduction in state funding during the 2011-12 academic year. “This generation needs to stand up for this generation and the generation that’s on the way,” President F. King Alexander said. “It’s never been more important than now for you to vote, because you can’t have the previous generation dictating your future.” The proposition would also provide struggling students with financial relief by rolling back the 9 percent tuition increase that was passed back in November, which would in turn give students hundreds of dollars in rebate checks. “If it passes, you get a tuition rebate

check back,” Alexander said. “I know that sounds kind of funny that you’re going to be paid to vote a certain way, but that’s how California works in some cases.” The CSU Board of Trustees recently voted to raise tuition fees by 5 percent if Prop. 30 does not pass. It would raise tuition by an additional $150 per semester and would raise $58 million for this academic year. “This is not the best of times to be a student,” said ASI President John Haberstroh. “Proposition 30 is a big deal, and unfortunately it’s kind of like having a gun held to our head, and we’re being forced to make a decision. If we don’t make that decision, it’s automatically going to happen that we are going to get a $250 million budget reduction.”

NEW DOCUMENTARY TELLS OZONE STORY LACK OF FUNDING PUTS THE PRODUCTION IN PERIL MIKE CLELAND UNION STAFFER

This September marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the international ozone treaty that aims to save the ozone layer. Steve Dorst’s new documentary film, Shattered Sky, tells the historical success story of America’s leading role in solving what is described as the biggest environmental crisis ever on the film’s Facebook page. “In 1987, 25 countries negotiated under the banner of the United Nations Environmental Programme and agreed to cut CFC production by 50 percent,” Dorst said in an interview with Policy Innovations. “It’s well past time for the United States to take responsibility, get its own house in order, and lead the world to a fair global treaty.” Shattered Sky’s theatrical release premiered in March at the DC Environmental Film Festival, and people walked out of the screening impressed.

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The film premiered on U.S. public television on September 16, but without further campaign funding, it won’t see further distribution. Dorst has funded the film mostly by himself and created a web page called the “Shattered Sky Kickstarter Campaign,” in which supporters had until last Friday to contribute money to help reach the $35,000 goal. Dorst planned to use the money to screen Shattered Sky in festivals across the country and on PBS stations across America, according to the Shattered Sky Kickstarter site. The goal was not reached, as less than $13,000 was raised. According to the site, the campaign money will revert back to its donators if the goal is not met. Dorst is aware that politics play a big part in pushing for climate change. As the November election ensues, he’s noticed presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have scarcely covered climate

change in their campaign speeches. He’s started a petition to force the candidates to address this issue, called “Obama & Romney: What’s Your Plan to Solve Energy & Climate Change?” With so much of their focus on the bad economy, climate change has gone unnoticed. “Businesses stand to lose the most, with billions of dollars invested in the offending technologies. As a result, industry spares no expense opposing change,” Dorst said in an interview with Policy Innovations. Since its 1987 conception, 197 countries have signed the Montreal Protocol. Because of the world’s collaborative effort, nearly all ozone-depleting substances have been eradicated, and the ozone hole is shrinking steadily. Dorst wants to inform America’s future generations about this important historical precedent and that direct action for climate change should be the next step.

It’s time for you to read (or skip) your favorite column in the Union Weekly. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Jonathon Bolin, your ASI Vice President. Anywho, I got a haircut, so I no longer look like Skrillex. I cut all my hair off, except the hair on top. I added 3 inches to my height, measuring in a little under 8’11”. No big deal. On a more serious topic, the CSU Board of Trustees (the people who make decisions for the 440,000 students across the CSU) met last week and decided some pretty big things. First off, if Prop. 30 passes ALL students will get a $500 rebate; its kind of like buying our votes, but who cares. FREE MONEY! However, if Prop. 30 fails, we will be forced to pay an additional $150 for the upcoming semester. So a YES on Prop 30 = $500 in yo’ pocket! A NO on Prop 30 will cost you $150 ... Decisions, decisions, decisions. It’s not all about the money though; a YES vote on Prop 30 means saving education (K-12 and Higher Ed.) by taxing people who make more than $250,000 a year. It also raises the sales tax by 1/4 of a penny. If you bought a dress for $20, you would then pay $.50 more in taxes. We all know you throw away those quarters anyway, or get them stuck in the couch. Might as well pay for higher education. And lastly, for all you Debbie Downers out there who are claiming that this will hurt small businesses and they will have to close, I am calling your bullshit. Small business owners do not make more than $250,000 a year. A small business is the local market down the street whose fruit is always delicious, the dive bar that you always end up in at 1 a.m., or your favorite Mexican food restaurant where no one can speak English, but you love it anyway. These small business owners are not pulling in 250k a year, get real. Look at that, I spent my whole column bitchin’ about Prop. 30 and I don’t have enough room to tell you about how ridiculous the Board of Trustees meeting was. If you don’t know who Chancellor Reed is, look up Henry J. Waternoose III, the boss from Monsters, Inc. Then you’ll pretty much have an idea of who the man is. Lastly, I haven’t received one email from ANYONE telling me how great/bad/tasteless/awesome this column is. Email me with ideas for ASI or if you want to voice your opinion at asivicepresident@csulb.edu. Have a great week 49ers! GO BEACH! The opinions expressed here are the author’s opinions alone and do not reflect the opinions of ASI, ASI government, or CSULB in any way.


“(...) EXPERIENCE, SATIRE, RANT, AND MY POETIC LICENSE (...) COMING FROM A LEFTY, LESBIAN PERSPECTIVE.” —Holly Hughes, describing her own creative work


“HOLLY HUGHES IS A LESBIAN AND HER WORK IS HEAVILY OF THAT GENRE.” —John Frohnmayer, former Head Chairman of the NEA, on Holly Hughes’ artwork


MUSIC

POINT/COUNTERPOINT:

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE Illustration

ROSE FEDUK COMICS EDITOR

THEY ARE MUSICAL GODS NATHAN CRUZ

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

L

et me take you back to the year 2007, it was my junior year in high school and I was at a very vulnerable age. I was on the verge of cementing my future musical taste. I grew up listening to my father’s eclectic taste in music and as a result I intrinsically adopted my own unique taste in music. 2007 was the year Animal Collective released their album Strawberry Jam. A friend of mine let me borrow the then newly released album, suggested I listen to it, and told me it sounded like nothing he had ever heard before. Sure enough, the album opener, “Peacebone,” was like a rough punch to the face. In a masochistic way I was instantly drawn and intrigued. The music was filled with raw energy, and it was unlike anything I had ever heard before. From “Chores” to “Reverend Green” to “#1,” Strawberry Jam was full of interesting soundscapes and established my newfound obsession with Animal Collective. It wasn’t long before I familiarized myself with the rest of their works, from the slower, stripped down, Sung Tongs, to the ambient, Feels, to the noisy, hard, Here Comes the Indian. I was in awe. I took note of how Animal Collective continually reinvented and evolved their sound in each album they released. Animal Collective’s neo-psychedelic sound is bold and draws from music styles all over the world. The band is composed of four members, Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist, each member has their own distinct style, and each member brings a different contribution to the band. All four of the members grew up together and now live in different parts of the world. They join together to create Animal Collective’s various works. In 2009, the band released Merriweather Post Pavilion, which garnished the most

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hype of any album released that year. The album was even compared to classic albums such as Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. The first time I saw Animal Collective live was in 2009 at the Music Box in Hollywood for their Merriweather Post Pavilion tour. It was one of the most energetic shows I have ever witnessed. It was mesmerizing. The next time I saw Animal Collective was at their infamous set at the 2011 Coachella Music Festival. Animal Collective known for their trademark of playing new, unreleased muisc at their live shows. The band only played two “hits” from Merriweather Post Pavilion and instead played a set of new music, most songs which are now included on their latest release, Centipede Hz. There were those who were disappointed and said that their set was the worst set they’ve ever seen, there were those who were way too stoned to even notice what was going on (like the guy with the zebra spandex body suit who was doing a interpretive tribal-style dance in front of me), and then there those, like I, who applauded their unconventional set at a once authentic, innovative, now heavily diluted music festival. Regardless of how you feel about this band, you can at least appreciate their technique. Although I have some gripes about their latest release, Centipede Hz, because it is the first of their works that doesn’t feel as revolutionary as their earlier recordings. However, it’s still inventive and more interesting that most of the trends going on in indie music today. Their show at the Hollywood Bowl is bound to make them music legends and will cement their status as a band that will inspire generations to come. Animal Collective’s music is what pop music is going to sound like in 30 years.

THEY SUCK BALLS GREG KRISH CONTRIBUTOR

Enter a 12-year-old version of myself. It was Coachella 2006, and winds were blowing furiously through the Outdoor Stage. I was waiting eagerly to see the very-hyped Animal Collective for the first time. Now feel free to write off my 12-year-old musical tastes as “undeveloped;” however, it was the same year that I sought out Daft Punk, Massive Attack, Tool, Mogwai, and Art Brut; so I’d done my research on a variety of genres. I was an open-minded kid, but my critical error was asking myself the question, “How bad could it possibly be?” The players walked onstage to their respective stations. There appeared to be a traditional drum, guitar, bass setup, as well as one bearded fellow behind a large collection of sequencers, samplers, and synths. The gentleman with the beard began the set with a repetitive synth loop. I thought, “cool, synths are neat.” I waited for it to change, or end, but it never did. Poorly-timed noise soon followed to supplement the short loop that droned in the background. And then new loops were initiated, out of sequence, without killing the first loop. And then the singer brought out a tray of purple paint and began to cover his face with it. Then I left. In summation, the first Animal Collective set I saw was terrible: cacophonous, uninspired, boring, and nausea inducing. Since I left early, I wondered if they got significantly better

later in the set. Luckily, I would have another opportunity to see them at a later Coachella. I believe it was 2008, and this time I was waiting for a set by Yelle that would take place after Animal Collective’s. I watched this AC set in its entirety, and it was one of the worst hours I’ve ever experienced. Dig if you will, the aforementioned performance, except much longer, with worse sound-mixing, and no purple paint. I can’t guarantee that I didn’t fall asleep through any of it, but if I did, the music would not have changed for the duration of that nap. Animal Collective never earned a third chance from me. Since then, I’ve listened to the records to see if they were as unlistenable as the live set. I will admit that they are not quite as unpleasant. However, I believe that the band peaked with Strawberry Jam, and everything before and after that was inconsistent and relatively unappealing. When the songs are at their most-inspired, their production falls flat. There exists no perfect Animal Collective song, but maybe that’s the point. If so, it’s over my head. I believe, however, that the vast majority of fans I’ve talked to can’t successfully justify why they like them, and the appreciation of Animal Collective generally seems like a fashion trend that lacks sincerity. I will happily keep on listening to my plebian low-art, if it means sparing my ears the nonsense that is Animal Collective.


CULTURAL MISS-APPROPRIATION

CULTURE

“LEG AVENUE” LEADS STRAIGHT TO HELL CHRISTINA CHEN CONTRIBUTOR

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very now and then I read an article or blog post about cultural appropriation (which in the context of the argument, I think misappropriation is more apt) and it amazes me that it’s still a problem considering the number of people, feminists and social activists in particular, who should be offended. Cultural misappropriation, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the devaluing of a group of people by using a symbol of their culture in a disrespectful context, and while it appears in everything from clothing to food labels, an example that most American Halloween-lovers should recognize is the Native American costumes found in every single Party City in the world. In between “Sexy Guitar” and “Sexy Baby” Princess” or “Sexy Tribal Trouble” with a woman, oftentimes pale and blonde, wearing a barely-there, faux suede mini-dress with tassels, feathers, beads, headdresses, and other Native American-y stuff we like to see hot sorority girls prance around in. Actual Native American women aren’t generally emaciated, blonde, giantesses in miniskirts, and the Native American symbols, like the headdress, are offensively misused. In Native American culture, one earns their feathers; one does not simply walk into Mordor…uh…I mean, Target and buy them. Cultural misappropriation, then, for those who are bound to assume I’m calling them racists, does not imply that a person with an appreciation for traditional culture is a Nefarious Nancy. I’m talking about people (hipsters mostly, and I think in this context the word “people” is a little too indulgent) who sport garish misrepresentations of non-white culture because they see it as an opportunity to make something “silly” or “ridiculous” look cool. The thing that bothers me most about “Sexy Indian Princesses” is the amount of stuff associated with minority women and not minority men. No, I don’t think there ought to be a greater supply of stupid men’s costumes, because there are already enough. The problem is that in associating minority women and the symbols of their individual feminine power with sex and sexiness, these women are reduced to nothing more than sexy playthings and that does nothing to inspire respect for minority women. That in mind, depictions of women in traditionally-inspired costume have a disturbing effect on the public. The title “Sexy Indian Princess” is really just as bad as “Seductive Squaw” or “Naughty Navajo” and plight. When you see Asian-inspired costumes, they usually have names like “Libidinous Laotian” or “Mama Mongolia.” And while those are exaggerations, I have seen a “Sexy Take-out Box” costume which might as well

Illustration

GILLIAN WOODSON CONTRIBUTOR

have been called “Chinky Chow Time.” Sexism and racism are as apparent in the names as in the costumes themselves. And how do you think people view real Laotian women and real Native American women? When you Google “Native American Women,” one result is an article entitled “The 30 Hottest Native American Women.” Found in a second search for “Asian Women” is an article on an Asian woman’s secrets to pleasing her man (always have dinner ready, don’t talk too much, don’t be a sex hungry maniac, etc.). The other results for the same search consist mostly of porn and prostitution websites. I told someone about this and his response was that at least all women are being jest, deserves discussion. Being Asian or African doesn’t translate to “lesser being” any more, you say? I disagree. The list of “Native American” women consisted of white actresses and singers, who appeared to groom themselves in the Western model of beauty, with very little trace of Native American heritage in their appearance. Wikipedia has a handy little list of famous Native American women and they generally don’t look a whole lot like Megan Fox (apparently one of the 30 hottest Native American women) and are remembered more for their contributions to society than for their appearance. That’s more of an indication of our preference for Bonnie Blue Belles than of the aesthetic value of different colored women. women sexy, but only as a reference for sexual role play, not as something we would want in real life. Obviously we like what “Naughty Navajo” is wearing, but apparently we don’t want to see her wearing it; we’d all prefer to see “Cutie McHotpants of Beta Beta Beta.” Constantly seeing inaccurate representations of an identity or group warps how we see said identity or group. If Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the only point of reference for what Asian men were like, we’d want nothing to do with them. Oh wait, that happened. If all we see is caricatures, all we know is caricatures, and “Sexy Squaw” is a caricature. The other problem with cultural misappropriation is the implication that some women are better than others, as if being a white woman entitles you to the symbols and styles of other cultures. Considering that minorities generally had no choice but to assimilate to American values and culture, it is incredibly dismissive of their plight to assume their traditional clothing without question and without permission. Acceptance through assimilation was not a choice, or at least not one anyone wanted to make, and I doubt that if a white woman were suddenly forced into wearing a burka she would feel particularly “accepted” culturally. I

can’t count the number of times during my childhood I decided not to wear something in public because of how “Chinese” it was. I just wanted to look like everyone else in the classroom or mall or supermarket and none of them were wearing brocade dresses. At the same time, I never had any qualms with wearing the embroidered shirt my grandma brought back from her trip to Mexico, and I remember being told by a Mexican friend that it looked great on me, but that she would look “too Mexican” in it. The idea that if you’re black, a dashiki makes you look blacker, or that if you’re Vietnamese, an aoyai makes you look more Vietnamese is ludicrous, and that anyone should think that being blacker or more Vietnamese is a bad thing is terrible. Feeling that someone else is arbitrarily more clothes is worse. That considered, it’s still pretty easy to forget the role of other factors in a social or political movement. Sexism thrives on the division of women (and male victims of patriarchy) based on the divisive power of race, religion, and socio-economic status. In combating sexism, blurring the lines between black and white, queer and straight, poor and rich is a victory for feminist cohesion, which will positively affect the strength of the feminist movement. Most social/political movements will vouch for this fact: being a group dominated by one economic, racial, or religious demographic is not good PR. Any successful rally, event, or protest in the name of “the

cause” features every kind of supporter they garnering the support of other minorities, but even a certain politician, who I will refer to as Bitt Blomney, is reaching out to Latin Americans in an attempt to appear less racist than the rest of the racist elite, but that’s another discussion entirely. No one succeeds in the world of social and political activism without cultural sensitivity. At least not for long. If we view the world of social justice as a metaphorical microcosm of the world, it makes sense that we would all want to strive for that cultural sensitivity, knowing that everything we do is with the purpose of human improvement. With respect to the effects of racism on feminism in particular, cultural misappropriation is disastrous for the aforementioned feminist cohesion that we strive for. Feeling that some women in the movement are more entitled to an identity than other women is crushing and it leads to alienation of the minorities. Feminists believe in improvement of our perceptions of the female body and identity and that includes not being made to feel bad about being black or white, blue or orange, tall or thin, beautiful or ugly and so on. Cultural sensitivity shouldn’t limit you from wearing what you want, but lack thereof shouldn’t alienate the people you need and care about either. Combating all forms of prejudice within and without a movement makes for a stronger community of people working toward a better future and that’s a goal we don’t generally oppose. UNION WEEKLY

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ENTERTAINMENT

THE PERKS OF FALL CINEMA

Intro

NATHAN CRUZ

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

BE A PRETENTIOUS ASSHOLE AND SEE THESE FILMS ASAP

t’s officially the beginning of autumn, and you know what that means? It means that the shitty summer blockbuster season has ended and “Oscar” season has begun. Intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals rejoice, this is your chance to be a true film-snob and see those films that may be nominated or snubbed from awards for 2012 award season. Go see these

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films as soon as you can, that way you can brag about how amazing The Master is and tell your friends that you’ve already seen it seven times. Don’t miss these films on the silver screen, like I missed the powerful psychological thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene in 2011. Sometimes that 12 dollar movie ticket is highly worth it.

THE MASTER

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

TORIE RIVERA

CAMILLE HOVE

LITERATURE EDITOR

CONTRIBUTOR

Five years after Paul Thomas Anderson blessed the world with There Will be Blood, his cinematic adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!, he has returned with another gem, The Master. Anderson continued to travel down the same creative path he had traveled whilst making There Will be Blood: bringing back Jonny Greenwood to compose the soundtrack, operating in the same realm of color tones, executing similar razor sharp angles, and commenting on religion. Also, once again, another haunting lead role performance is delivered. Joaquin Phoenix makes a profound return to the silver screen, portraying a former U.S. Navy man, Freddie Quell, struggling to adapt to society. Quickly, Quell finds refuge in the enigmatically charming head of “The Cause”, Lancaster Dodd (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd, also known as “The Master”, leads “The Cause” in a scientifically driven voyage of “Knowledge and Truth.” Although this film shares similarities to Anderson’s prior film, don’t get it twisted, The Master is a film in-it-of-itself. The cast of the film really makes it happen. Amy Adams gives the performance of her career; Mrs. Dodd is a force to be reckoned

END OF WATCH “Once upon a time in South Central” flashes across the screen preceding this tourde-force film, writen and directed David Ayer (S.W.A.T, Training Day). A voice, coupled with the first-person camera view of a patrol vehicle chasing down another car, reminds us that as a police officer it is his duty to uphold the law regardless of whether you or I (or he, for that matter) find it unfair or unjust. He reminds us that, also like you or I, a cop is only human and can be killed. End of Watch is the story of two LAPD cops — Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) as the playboy romantic and our protagonist, and his partner Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), who, when not busting doors down or saving children from burning houses, lectures Taylor on coupling etiquette — told in mockumentary form. The film begins its narrative track following a routine traffic stop where Taylor and Zavala inadvertently catch the attention of a Mexican drug cartel operating in Los Angeles, following their arrest of several drug runners. Advised to lay low by the ICE officer whose drug stakeout operation the two cops accidentally spoil, it isn’t long before a hit is put out.

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with. Another noteworthy performance is given by Hoffman. His L. Ron Hubbard like character is brought to life by the depth of Hoffman’s implementation of the warmth only a cult leader can offer. All in all, Anderson has done it again. The Master is a must see film this fall. To not see this film would be a tragic mistake. The film was previously released only in Los Angeles and Hollywood, but has now been put into mass distribution. Turn off The Voice, get off the couch, leave your effing phone at home (so you don’t text while I’m trying to enjoy the piece of art before me; or, I will kick your chair, or head, it has happened), and go see Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master.

What exactly are the perks of being a wallflower, you might ask? Being a wallflower doesn’t sound very entertaining, but for Charlie (Logan Lerman), it is a reality. Charlie does not fit in to his new high school, his battle with depression and the untimely death of his aunt has left him with a lot on his shoulders during his teenage years. Charlie is unable to relate to most of his peers, and he finds himself on the sidelines observing others, rather than interacting and participating. However, he is soon taken under the wing of Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) and accepted into the eclectic group of people known as “the wallflowers.” Charlie goes through the average growing up phase of life: pining for the unobtainable girl, breaking up cafeteria fights with aplomb, and staring as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Okay, maybe the last one isn’t average. But he is a smart, witty character who, above all else, actually cares about people. He sees the pain in people and it hurts him. The depth of these characters turns this movie from an average tale of adolescence to a story

about pain, fear, and trying to be there for one another during the times when you want to bang your head against the wall. Based on the 1999 novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is personal and very relatable story for anyone who had a hard time during high school. Charlie tries to understand the concept that people take the love they think they deserve, which unravels a plethora of deeper issues within the movie. Beautifully shot with a superb cast, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is for anyone who has ever felt like they are just a part of the scenery; an observer of human interaction.

that of Chronicle. If you’re a continuity freak, this will be one of the harder aspects of the film to swallow. The strongest area of End of Watch is its skill in playing with the element of fear. If I had to ascribe this film a genre outside its IMDB-designated “mystery crime drama”, I’d almost say it’s a horror film in some ways. No, there’s not a killer going around with a butcher knife or some maniac torturing people, but the tension you feel coming upon a crime scene with a knife sticking out of one cop’s eye and another’s face being crushed in by a drug runner the size of a truck is insanely palpable. But what’s most terrifying is that the fear during these scenes never really goes away. It stays with you for the entire 109 minutes of the film; but before you realize why, it’s too late. Diving deeper into the context of the film, it’s obvious that Ayer tries to convey a sense of what an officer should embody and the respect that comes along with it. Police officers are just people just like us, they have a sense of pride, and a burning desire to find true love and to live a life worth something. That’s all good and well, but what it really feels like Ayer is creating a sense of propaganda

above all else. I almost felt like I was being preached at in some scenes, completely taking me out of the context of the film. This also caused me to take a moment to consider the film objectively, to think about the story, and, finally, to regret not having brought someone with me to actively discuss all the underlying themes and questions. Ultimately, I find this to be an achievement since Hollywood rarely inspires such discussions. All in all, this film is worth checking out. It isn’t crazy fast-paced, but if you aren’t put off by the mockumentary format, then check this film out.

TYLER DEAN CONTRIBUTOR

End of Watch is as riveting as they come. Gyllenhaal and Peña do an excellent job of convincing the audience that not only are they police officers (as opposed to the plasticity of Ayer’s S.W.A.T.), but real people with real families and lives. The mockumentary form of the film, despite being despised by many, is also pivotal to the film’s success. While J.J. Abrams and Oren Peli use the form as a character in Cloverfield and the Paranormal Activity franchise, End of Watch uses it as a vehicle into the dangerous life of an LAPD officer. It should be noted that this film is not without fault. During the first 30 - 40 minutes of the film, you get the feeling that the writers weren’t exactly sure how they were going to approach the story. Ominous warnings are given, buddy-cop conversations reeking of foreshadowing are rampant, and characters who serve no purpose whatsoever within the story are given too much screen time, to no avail and without any sort of fruition. The camera work isn’t entirely perfect either. While End of Watch won’t have people stumbling to the trash cans or theaters putting up notices warning of motion sickness, I found it hard to keep up with the footage at times. Not only that, but the camera’s perspective is more like


ENTERTAINMENT

GET YOUR GAME ON SLEEPING DOGS... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED WES VERNER UNION STAFFER

Let me get one thing straight. I can probably count on one hand the games that I like that happen to be made by Square Enix. This is the same company that brought us Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, which can probably be put at the top a worst games in recent history list without much complaint. Many would disagree, citing the Final Fantasy franchise as proof that they know what they are doing. And I would tell them to eat a bag of dicks. Moving on, Sleeping Dogs is the most fun I have ever had in a Sandbox Game. For those of you who are not “in the know,” that simply means you can go anywhere at any time and complete the missions in the order you wish, or you can just not do them at all, like Grand Theft Auto. The story takes place in Hong Kong, and you play a man by the name of Wei Shen, a recent immigrant from San Francisco who is coming back to the city he was born in.

The game opens up with you in the slammer. You meet an old friend from your childhood named Jackie Ma. After talking with Jackie about getting a job in one of the lower levels of the Triad gang Sun on Yee, a couple of officers come and escort Wei into an interrogation room, where this white dude is waiting. It is here that we find out that Wei is an undercover cop part of an operation to take down two of the Sun on Yee lieutenants. Now like I said, Sleeping Dogs is awesome. Combat is mostly hand to hand, and it’s all labeled as kung fu. I honestly don’t know anything about kung fu, so the things they do in the game could be just really aggressive yoga for all I know, but it looks awesome. Some combos you can string together end in crazy shit, like breaking a guy’s leg. But it never gets too overbalanced. You can pretty easily take on three guys, but if you go against seven? You’re probably going to get

dead faster than a 14 point buck at a redneck family reunion. The best part about it? Even though there are serious parts, there is also always a little humor to the situation. For example, there is a mission where you disguise yourself as a monk and fast-talk your way into a monastery. The things you say to the monks to get past are hilarious. The first monk asks what you are doing. You respond, “When en… when energy flows among flowers, we are all here. I… am both here and not here… I, um… love flowers.” The monk replies, “Ah, brother. So true, so true.” There are some problems though, as with any game. It does nothing to reduce stereotypes about all Asians knowing martial arts, first of all. But more importantly, the game has issues with empathy. Specifically, with telling the audience who they should be rooting for.

A quarter of the way through you watch your cop boss shoot some random guy in the face just so he can use this gangster’s gun to get him put away for murder. Even the triad guys don’t do that. And you can forget about the main character. That guy is a bastard. One mission has you follow your sort-of girlfriend (and by that I mean this chick you slept with twice instead of once) who you suspect might be cheating on you. MOTHERFUCKER HAS HAD SEX WITH TWO OTHER WOMEN BY THIS POINT. And he still has the balls to get super mad at her too. The only people I was rooting for were the gangsters! They were the only people doing good deeds at all in the whole damn game! Bottom line, I can’t really recommend this game enough. But I wouldn’t buy it right away. Maybe wait for a coupon, or a sale or something. Or just talk to your friends in the triad and get a copy that “fell off the truck.”

A TRAGIC COMEDY WITH LEATHER JACKETS THE CHANGELING WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO THE 17TH CENTURY SIERRA PATHEAL CONTRIBUTOR

Bloody sheets dangle from the walls, intimating the missing stage curtain. An impressive array of recessed floodlights washes the stage in warm yellows and reds, invoking the feeling of a warmly painted kitchen, but the prison bars taking up half the back wall break that image. A figure crosses behind them periodically, probably the stage manager, completing the scene as a woman utterly unconcerned about her captivity. As we find our seats, one song ends and a new one bounces from the speakers: The Coasters crooning, “She’s pretty as a daisy, but look out man, she’s crazy,” in a cheerful, bluesy beat. Welcome to the Long Beach Playhouse’s production of “The Changeling,” a 17thcentury tragi-comedy which, in its current staging, seems determined to present as many bizarre juxtapositions as theatrically possible, just to see if the audience can handle them. Some of the paradoxes were too contradictory to work for me, but all in all, I loved it. The play alternates between an insane asylum and a castle, and while the inmates are entertaining, the plot begins more immediately at the castle. Beatrice, the governor’s daughter, is betrothed to nobleman Alonzo, but she’s in love with Alsemero. Of course. And since she doesn’t want to refuse the marriage and incur Daddy’s displeasure, she decides to use a deformed, creepy servant — who, conveniently, is head-over-heels in lust with her and has been stalking her for years — to get rid of Alonzo. That’s her first mistake. The acting was stellar and the characters fascinating, although by the end of the play I couldn’t sympathize with any of them

anymore. (One of the ones with whom I most sympathized at the beginning, for instance, later kissed the charred skull of a woman he’d murdered and burned.) The mixture of subterfuge, mistaken identity, and disguises reminded me of a Shakespearian comedy, while the blatant sexuality — sometimes almost farcical but other times deathly serious — along with innovative music and lighting added a great modern touch. Overall, I was very impressed. The play wasn’t without its confusion, however. I have no idea in what era it was set; while the characters were speaking Shakespearian English, trading in ducats and florins, and operating under medieval standards for insane asylums and women’s rights, they were also killing with guns as well as knives, using flashlights to look at bell towers, and watching television when locked in by jealous husbands. The costuming ranged from leather jackets and dominatrix dresses to suit jackets and nightgowns, and while I’m assuming the castle was in Spain due to frequent references to Valencia, I can’t be sure, because if it was mentioned, I didn’t hear it. I’m a fan of questions, but not so much of unanswered ones, especially when they’re as intrinsic (and simple!) as the setting. So I left the theater a little confused, but the masterful dark drama made up for it. And hey, I’ll admit it — any play that gives me madmen line-dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” along with a slow-motion knife fight ended by gun has my approval. Definitely recommended. The Changeling is now playing now through September 29th at the LB Playhouse.


LITERATURE

IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE WORKING OUT THE KINKS OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY AMY PATTON

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CONTRIBUTOR

did it. I’m so sorry, but I did. I broke down when I said I was never under any circumstances going to. I, Amy Patton, read 50 Shades of Grey, by E.L. James, and I am so, so sorry. Typically I am not so brutally masochistic, but reading this book was an exception. I had a higher purpose. I read it in the name of science! I have hypothesized for the good of mankind just why exactly this poorly written taboo book is suddenly so appealing to the middle-aged-women demographic of America. I’m serious! The book is about a naïve college graduate, yet it seems like every mother under the sun is reading it! This craze really started to concern me when my own mom picked it up and was sucked into the leatherrestrained sex life of Christian Grey (the sexual deviant antagonist in the story for those of you fortunate enough to have not read the books. Yes books, as in the author managed to publish three of them!). Take your own poll if you doubt me. Ask around, I’m sure you’ll be shocked at how many middle aged women have picked up a little erotic reading as of late. It could be your very own mother getting hot and bothered for her book of the month club. The best story I heard so far was from a friend. She was at church when she saw a modest 40-something year-old woman devouring 50 Shades before sermon began. My friend turns to her and asks her why on earth would she read that in a House of God, assuming the woman would be slightly embarrassed. The woman calmly puts her bookmark in and places the book on top of her Bible and says to my friend, “God knows I’m reading this.” So there you have it ladies and gentlemen: God endorses 50 Shades of

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Grey. You no longer need to hide under your covers at night reading the trilogy, unless, hey, that’s your thing. Then by all means, continue, my friend. But in all seriousness, what exactly is it about these books that appeal to the mommy demographic? Surely it cannot be the excellent dialogue and supreme vocabulary (please note how those observations are literally dripping in sarcasm and oozing disdain). Surface level, it would appear that our moms are just kinky sex fiends, but, really, there is actually more to it. Let’s dissect, shall we? First of all, let’s acknowledge that the middle-aged are a fucking busy age group. They have a lot of shit going on, a lot more than they get credit for. So they really do not have the time to sit down and contemplate Emily Bronte or John Steinbeck. That would actually take time and effort to fully digest what those authors have to offer. Because of the basic sentence structure and surface level plotline, 50 Shades allows for dear old Mom to pick up and put down the book at her leisure without missing out on any underlying brilliance hidden within enriched text. It doesn’t feel like such a commitment this way. Because I’m pretty sure after a full day of work, toting little Jimmy to and from soccer, making dinner, and balancing the checkbook, Mom isn’t up for discussing the underlying themes and motifs in Of Mice and Men. No. She wants basic writing that she can comprehend in between spoon-feeding the baby. Secondly, by reading a series revolving around a young 22-year-old, these women

feel younger. I mean, the main character, Anastasia Steele, is submissive to the S&M sex life of Christian Grey. So she is automatically depicted as a weak female character, despite James’ attempts to suggest Anastasia’s defiance to the whole ordeal. She is still weak and succumbing to Christian with just one look. So what does she have to offer to the mommy generation? Well, her youth and naiveté takes women back to an age when they were unattached and carefree. Anastasia is a virgin when Christian firsts meets her. This epitome of innocence surely brings older women back to the day when they were first discovering their sexualities. Which brings me to my final point. SEX. Don’t let me try to convince you that the whole reason our mothers are picking up these books is because of its unattached, youthful demeanor. No. Obviously a huge factor is their unattended libidos. Mama’s not red in the face from baking in the kitchen all day. She’s been reading! As much as we as a society try to disassociate our family members from sex, its still there. So, if these needs aren’t being met, they will

turn to some other facet besides intercourse. Now, moms can’t exactly sit down and watch a good porno every time they’re in heat. That would be a bit traumatizing for little Jimmy to walk in on. So be glad that it is only an erotic novel that has become socially acceptable to read instead of porn. Let’s leave it at that shall we? In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, middle-aged women are wound up in their hectic middle-aged lives. Sometimes they just need to relax with a good soft-core sex book. Deal with it. They are unsatiated and too busy to read something intellectually enriching anyway. The kink of the book is something new and exciting in their otherwise mundane lives. Furthermore, this is something just for them. They have to share every ounce of themselves with their family, co-workers, and society. This book is personal and just for them. So go ahead, moms of America, pick it up and get swept away in your curiosity. Maybe then that Rihanna song will make more sense to you the next time you hear it. Na Na Na come on!


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EASY

FEDOKU

HARD

CONTRIBUTER

RAMIRO PEREZ

ETHEREAL SMEARGLE

CONTRIBUTER

STEPHANIE TSUI

DANA OWL

DISSECT MY BRAIN

UNION STAFFER

KEVIN NG

COMICS


DISCLAIMER

I don’t like cantaloupe. If you came to this page thinking it would be all about cantaloupe, you would be horribly wrong. Call me racist, but I think I’d be happier in a world without cantaloupe. Wake up, people! It tastes like stamp glue. My cantaloupe hating ways are not part of ASI, nor do I represent the CSULB campus. Email me, the Duchess, at grunion@lbunion.com

“Pandas are just assholes with fur and teeth”

Volume 71 Issue 5

Monday, September 24, 2012

LIL B FREESTYLE WRITE: “JESUS’ WIFE” Swag Swag thousand hundred thousand million Based God Hoes on my dick cus I look like Moses By LIL B, BASED GOD Jesus had a wife and da bitch was gorgeous Bitch was gorgeous, suckin’ on my Moses Slurpin’ up my dick like holy water from a hoses hoes on my dick cause I burn dem bushes I kill the Egyptians, dat nigga Ra spinnin’ Killing all them babies with a host of Based God, dats me, son of God, JC rubbin’ Mary Mag’s titties while she’s sittin’ on my peenus Based God, I’m so gorgeous Based God, Immaculate concept my bitch Based God Get out my garden bitch, Based God Fuck Abel, fuck Satan Deez niggas just hating Devils on my dick cus eternal damnation I got twelve in the crew, they have twelve bitches each They go around saying all the sick shit that I preach Based God so sweet, I taste like a peach Po niggas with leprosy tryna get in my reach

LBUNION.COM

MAN MAULED BY TIGER AFTER CLIMBING ZOO FENCE

Fuck dat nigga Judas nigga acting like a leech He kiss me on my face, now he’s sucking devil dick Fuck that David too, cause he acting like a bitch Girl on my tower cause she like to babel Rearrange her pussy like I’m playin’ scrabble Wiccans like to dabble in witchcraft Witches ride dey brooms like dey ridin’ my dick shaft Oh that’s right Jesus Based God You can baptize my pussy Based God You can crucify my pussy Based God Jesus based god, and my mom was a virgin got holes in my hands and I’m fucking all the virgins King James version, I look like a Persian Fuckin niggas up cause I have a reserection Bitches on my dick cause I sound like Carol Channing Got good hands like my name was Peyton Manning Noah, manning my ark Hoes on my dick cause dey I make dem bitches bark Amen, Based God. Flood my pussy, based God. Dinosaur bones were put here to test our faith Based God [Editor’s note: Based God, fuck me please. I’m a bitch, I think. I heard that’s what you do. Bitch is a good thing, right? That’s what Google Translate said.]

Tigers are, as many are, majestic in their nature and grace, and should be respected as what they are: the true kings of the earth. Not lions, By Tiger Man not bears, nor man (man, pshaw); tigers are forever and hold an eternity of love in a single stripe. Oh their stripes. Black and orange bands to hide from their prey, each is like a silent symphony of power and ferocity. I could go on for days about tigers. I think that’s the primary reason why I did what I did. Why I broke into that zoo. I wanted to feel that power up close. I was hoping that somehow I would be able to talk to him, like Dr. Dolittle style, and we would just shoot the shit for the rest of the day. I was going to walk up to that majestic beast and rub my face against it’s genitals. Doing that should’ve symbolized to the tiger that I meant for it and I to become brothers of the hunt, Bengal soulmates. It is a technique I read in a book I found in my father’s desk when I was a kid that I never forgot. It said that in order to get someone to feel your passion, you must be willing to press your face against his or her genitals. For some reason that didn’t work, which I might attribute to all the people watching and judging something that should only be viewed as veneration. I, offering up my heart to a beast that I consider to be one among the gods, could be one with said beast. It’s true that my wife left me, I am a little lonely, I live in my best friend Leo’s garage, but if you would

take one look at that tiger, stare deep into its eyes, you would understand what true love is. I guess that’s not something “society” is willing to accept as “normal.” I wish things would work out like in that show the New Normal. Those gay people get that rich lady’s daughter to have their baby and help the rich lady’s daughter get back into the groove of school and boys. Gosh. Every thing seems so easy for them. Why can’t things be easy for me? I hate them. Dressing nice and buying vintage couches. Gay people get all the breaks. Now if that show had an all tiger cast and would use actual tiger speak (which in human speak it would be something similar to Tee-groo-boo, but it requires the reverberations of whiskers to be comprehensible) it would be halfway watchable. All shows should have an alltiger cast. I guess that’s all I have left now that I’m banned from ever visiting any zoo in America. I have no way of getting my tiger tiger-patterned clothing at the Disney Store and rubbing my testicles across the TV when I’m watching Animal Planet.

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